How Many Words Can You Write in a Day: The Three Day Novel Experiment


Okay, I lied. I need to write one more time before I actually start this Three Day Novel Experiment because I have a little secret. Here’s my confession. I’m a bit stressed. I mean, who do I think I am that I can write a 60,000 word draft in three days? Especially when I can’t be in seclusion for these three days and I have three children to keep busy in these long, summer days. Who does this?


The point of this Three Day Novel Experiment was for me to see if I can produce a first draft quickly, so I don’t lose momentum of the story. It takes me FOREVER to write a first draft, not to mention the revisions, that it would be nice for a change, to know that if I change something in my writing habits, perhaps I can join the ranks of published authors before my hair all turns gray.

But, to tell you the truth, these 60,000 words seem so daunting, that all I can see it this number, even though I say I don’t pay attention to word count. These 60,000 words are so in my face, so much larger than life. I hate to say it, but I’m frozen because I just know I won’t be able to do it and have to admit defeat. Yes, I’m going to hang my head in shame right now.

So, sorry Ghostwoods AKA Tim Dedopulos. I need to adjust the word count for my own sanity. The point of a challenge is to push oneself far beyond what one thinks he/she is capable of accomplishing, but at the same time, there has to be some semblance of hope that there’s a possibility, albeit a tiny one, of being able to reach the goal. Hear me now. I’m not giving up, just giving my experiment a little tweak.

When push comes to shove, I’ve been able to write over 5,000 words in a day. It’s exhausting work, but doable. For the purposes of my experiment, I’ll double it and reduce the 60,000 word count by half to 30,000. It’s a goal that’s still out there, but seems more attainable. Aahhhh! Just don’t judge me ;).

Here’s the deal: I’m going for a first draft of 30,000 words in three days. I can breathe a little easier…

How many words can you write in a day, if you really pushed yourself?

Need a little inspiration? Check out this fantastic speech from the movie, Rudy.

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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